I am having trouble with a linked server to an Oracle machine.
This appears to have just stopped working recently. The only thing
known to have been done to the machine since this was last working
is the installation of some Microsoft OS security patches.

The error that appears is:

OLE DB provider for Oracle Error 7399
OLE DB provider for Oracle 'MSDAORA' reported an error

OLE DB error trace [OLE DB provider for Oracle 'MSDAORA'
IDBInitialize::Initialize returned 0x80004005]

Some info:

* Machine is W2K Server
* SQLServer 2000 w/SP3a
* Oracle client is 8.1.7

* Linked Server properties shows 'Microsoft OLE DB Provider for Oracle'
and in 'Security' tab has "Be Made with this security context" checked
and has SQL*Net login/pwd set in text fields below.

* SQL*Plus connection can be established with both Cmd Prompt
and with SQL*Plus window from Oracle

* Deleted and recreated linked server to no avail (same err appears)

* Registry settings are in agreement with the SQL Server
documentation for OLEDB Provider for Oracle
(namely C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\OLE

* MDAC has been updated to version 2.8. Machine has been rebooted
several times.

This same configuration (using 'OLEDB Provider for Oracle') has worked
for several years (and still does work on many systems I have access to) -- it seems it may have been affected by the installation of MS OS security patches.

Next thing I intend to try is reinstall of Oracle client
(but I am quite skeptical).

I have been struggling with this problem for a while and
would be grateful for help anyone can provide.


Christopher Brack
Software Engineer
Siemens PT&D